Author and activist Arundhati Roy addresses a protest organised by the activists of Campaign against State Repression on Rights over various issues, at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi in August, 2018. | PTI
File photo of Arundhati Roy | PTI
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Left intellectuals in India have always prided themselves for never shying away from owning up to their caste while talking about casteism. But author-activist Arundhati Roy, the last person we expected, has let us down. Roy, who wrote an introduction to B.R. Ambedkar’s seminal text ‘Annihilation of Caste’, has now joined the ranks of Shashi Tharoor, Amitabh Bachchan, and even Kangana Ranaut, in proclaiming to be a casteless Indian.

At a virtual event held earlier this week to discuss the release of her new book Azadi: Freedom. Fascism, Fiction, Roy spoke about India’s caste system and racial hierarchy in the United States. But soon into the conversation, Nick Etze, the Assistant Professor of American Studies at the University of New Mexico, asked if Roy was herself Brahmin. She replied saying she was, in fact, not.

“I am not (a Brahmin)… My mother is a Christian and my father belonged to an organisation called Brahmo Samaj, which is not Brahmin, but he also became Christian… So I am not a Brahmin,” she said in the interview.

If Roy claims to be casteless, why does she use an upper-caste surname?

It is disappointing to see Roy, an upper-caste, upper-class Bengali, who has most probably benefited from a privileged background that her surname denotes, now suddenly feeling ashamed to own it up.


Also read: Kangana Ranaut isn’t casteless. Her elders passed on an invisible code to her


Caste is the true test of progressive Leftists

It doesn’t matter if Roy is a Brahmin, but what was problematic was the fact that she lied about it, and Twitter users rightfully pointed it out.

 

Roy must know, in India, no one really becomes casteless just because he/she is a Christian. Dalit Christians continue to face discrimination to this day. Isn’t Roy, the radical Left activist, aware of this?

The fact that she can claim to be casteless only proves her privilege — lower castes in India can’t afford to conveniently forget their caste.

She also claimed that Brahmanism is, in fact, not about Brahmins — “The anti-caste movement has traditionally used this word ‘Brahminism’…It isn’t about Brahmins but the idea of this kind of caste hierarchy. So, it isn’t just Brahmins that practice Brahminism.” While it is reductive to understand Brahmanical ideology as just about Brahmins, this argument cannot be used superficially. The custodians and propagators of Vedic Hinduism and its in-built hierarchy have indeed been Brahmins.

Caste is the ultimate test of one’s progressive politics, and most of these Left liberals are upper caste individuals, who use their caste power to proclaim themselves as casteless.

India’s leftists are mostly upper caste, they understand very little about the caste system and don’t want to address it. Historically, they have not addressed caste and have only been comfortable with addressing class. That is one of the failings of the Left movement in India.


Also read: Arundhati Roy apologises for 2011 video on Pakistan Army, says may have been thoughtless


Not the first time

However, this isn’t the first time when the Booker Prize winner has been a let down.

In 2014, her introduction to ‘The Annihilation of Caste’ — titled ‘The Doctor and the Saint’ — was criticised by many for how it focused on Mahatma Gandhi, and his comparison with Ambedkar. There was no need to write such a lengthy reappraisal of Gandhi in a foreword to Ambedkar’s book.

Roy also failed to explain to the readers the subtle relation between caste, class, and religion in India.

Several anti-caste activists and Dalit writers questioned Roy’s “poor grasp” of the book and “shallower and sensational out-of-context introduction to the original text at risk of maligning Ambedkar”.

However, what shocked me the most was the time when Roy asked Indian citizens to lie about their names and addresses during the National Population Register (NPR) exercise last December. Even a police complaint was filed against Roy in this regard. Surely, the NPR has its flaws and is not accepted by a large section of the society. But who asks people to lie to the government about their identities? Roy lying about her Brahmin identity doesn’t seem so shocking after all.

All of us could say we don’t believe in the caste system, all of us can say we don’t practice the caste system. But the reality is that all of us are products of India’s rigged caste hierarchy. And we can’t escape that. That is where Roy has failed.

Views are personal.


Also read: Shekhar Gupta responds to Arundhati Roy on ‘Gandhians with Guns’


 

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101 Comments Share Your Views

101 COMMENTS

  1. I think the author is not aware of the fact that there are Dalits in UP, Bihar, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh who use surnames like Sharma, Mishra, Tiwari etc. to escape the hardships attached to their original identity. Here I am not professing those who do so but for once if you go through the reason why is it happening you will better understand the matrix of the caste system in India and the move of some upper caste people who renounce their caste.

  2. In India rulers , king , rebels, opposition. Judges , protestors, protestors , people savior s -all are Brahmins .. other caste don’t have life .. even non- Brahmins done historical wonderful jobs , those won’t be recognized. For example TN state is the only one state where the usage of caste name is socially avoided , gave property rights for women , achieved a social and economical development at all levels ,by successfully diluting the Brahmin Dominations in the administration. But those leaders are projected as corrupt. One kind of measure for the leaders impact also his final ceremony
    ANNADURAI is the only one leader In the entire human history who still now possess most people gathered final journey

    How many people in India knows this truth?

  3. Contrary to what is written by someone Rishi Valmiki was a Brahmin, his original name being Agni Sharma, son of Pracheta. Also Arundhati’s mother was keralite Syrian Christian. Don’t think she consider herself a Bengali as the writer suggests

  4. Only privilege people fall in this type debate. Truth is that no one cares about poor. There are many lower caste people who are rich and there are many upper caste people who are rich. But poor is poor. Rich is rich. Money buys everything even ideologies. Yes, I am from upper caste and I am not Rich. We also face discrimination by rich upper caste and lower caste people both.

    • Very well said Riti

      We as a family have faced the same and continue to do so.

      There is such a decisive mentality in our country that hinders the talent.

  5. I think that going by the logic of the author of this article, everyone reading The Print is a Brahmin, for it is certainly only the privileged who can keep up with what she writes, or for that matter Yogendra Yadav, Shivam Vij, Jyoti Yadav, Zainab Sikandar, Bismee Taksim, Dilip Mandal etc etc.

  6. After the UP election, Prannoy interviewed Yogi and asked his view on caste.

    Yogi said the caste system was very good for regulation of society, but he was against casteism !

    He did not explain. What is the meaning ? It was coded language. By casteism, he meant ‘caste based reservation’. That should be removed, then Indian society can be regulated efficiently with the caste system.

    Golwalkar had gushed in one of his books how the world could come and learn from India how to regulate society with Manu’s laws according to the four castes !

    I have no problem believing Roy and Tharoor, but it is the Yogi type of Hindu and his ideology that is ruling – caste system without casteism !!!

    • And it is because of idiots like you that we still carry burdens from colonial India.

      Have you ever even tried to understand what is caste system and how it became prevalent in our society and what was the original thought behind the Varna System of ancient Bharat

  7. Caste is the inexplicable millstone round India’s neck. It is not Muslims or British that kept India down, it is caste. Muslim and British rule ended long ago, but caste reigns, and its stranglehold has increased with Hindutva.

    The key conclusion of Ambedkar’s ‘Annhilation of Caste’ was that Hinduism cannot be reformed of caste, the only way to annhilate it was conversion. Ambedkar recommended conversion to Buddhism, Christianity or Islam. He made a mistake with Buddhism – because in India, Hindus will say Buddhism is part of Hinduism, and caste will come through the backdoor. Hence, if you want to solve the caste problem in India, the solution lies only in conversion to Christianity or Islam.

    • Then why are there categories called Dalit Christians and Dalit muslims. In Kerala there is a special category called SCCC which stands for Scheduled castes converted to Christianity and they get quota and Jobs and College admissions. Don’t peddle this rubbish that conversion to Abrahmic religious will end caste and casteism. No one buys your poisonous narrative anymore. Hindus aren’t stupid.

  8. It appears that as if the writer holds some kind of grudge against Roy. Roy on many occasions has denounced caste system and we surely owe it to her popularity that many ppl became aware of the caste problems in india. The writer is trying to implicate Roy for the things she neither said nor meant. As for the npr exercise, it wasnt meant to hide caste but render the process irrelevant by giving wrong data.

  9. I think this article is subverting the comments of Arundhati Roy on not being Brahmin. Such articles are not expected from Print. Stop promoting subversive narratives.

  10. I don’t like Suzanne Arundhati Roy but I am an Unreserved Category Aged 31 doing a business and barely surviving while most my Reserved Category Friends despite scoring less than me managed to get Govt Jobs and are well settled, can the Author show me the way to use my Caste Privileges so that I also become Well Settled like them??

  11. What matters is she is owing up to the crimes against humanity commited by her ancestors even hesitantly. The author should first decide “whether its the pride of upper caste leftist” or “the injustice and race/class discrimination” done against the citizens of India for ages, she is concerned about. Whether she believes in the rigid,bigoted, and hypocrite system of past or is a person that believes in equality and equal protection of humans as a whole. To me the author is just another sensationalist looking for some dough and cheap publicity like Arnab Goswami.

  12. Smt Arudhati Roy is of no relevance anymore, except to her fellow travellers and to her constituency abroad. Still it is amusing to see this debate, to see her been taken down from her pedestal by her fellow travellers.

  13. This Print Publication is not letting anyone go out of the fold of caste system. If upper care say he follow caste, he is criminal and if upper caste say he don’t follow caste he is lier.
    They will accept only that upper caste person who will be very guilty and apologetic about himself.

    Funny!

  14. Arundhati Roy is not a Indian, given the number of times she has reached UN for supporting Pakistani terror activities in J&K. There fixed it for Caste warriors.

  15. Like the disclaimer at the end of this “farticle”,Views are personal.
    So if views are indeed personal and those of the writer, why waste our time by trying to push it down our throats?
    It’s obvious that the author of this “farceicle” has some unresolved issues against Arundhati Roy and so they spill their vitriol in public.
    Who the hell cares about what the left or the right or the liberals about how they write their names?
    This is a classic example of unemployed presstitutes wasting our time spewing unwanted crap rather than reporting on things that matter , real news, not their silly opinions about what we should think.
    Enough of this crappy “reportage”, if they have something of use then report, otherwise please keep your “personal views” to yourself.
    Kuch bhi, koi bhi, kahan bhi, kaise bhi!!!

  16. She is just a pathological liar like all the leftists in India, all they want there to be is a previledged section of theirs only but poor and lower caste people fail to understand their ulterior motives.

  17. She is just a pathological liar like all the leftists in India, all they want there to be is a previledged section of theirs only but poor and lower caste people fail to understand their ulterior motives.

  18. A brahmin is anyone who makes a living through his or her intellect and through manipulation of abstractions without doing any work with their hands or bodies. Those using their intellect to gain disproportionate privileges of any kind are Brahmins.

    In that sense Arundhati is certainly a Brahmin as are Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg and every banker or software engineer in the world. A a poor man from a Brahmin family working as a cook or a security guard or as a labourer is more Shudra or even Dalit. A person from a Dalit background who does purely intellectual work and gets paid 20 times the salary of the security guard in his institution is a Brahmin.

    The point being – these are not always fixed categories – caste is fluid and even more so in our times when people from all backgrounds are found in all professions.

  19. Why do you give such a prominence to this character? I just do not know. How does it matter whether she is a Brahmin or not? It is a non issue and it is not going to make any impact on the quality of life. She is a one book wonder and that is all. akp

  20. Hey, absolutely agree with everything except the lying comparison. I don’t seek to give Roy the credit of what I think is an exercise of transgression, but I do think that the essence of asking people to lie comes from the realization that we live in a fascist country and the only way to escape its violence is to transgress the violent laws it puts on us. I do agree though that these are bleak realities of how different her stance of lying is, while asking one to lie to power and herself lying for power. Thank you for the article though!

  21. There are Brahmins by birth and there are Brahmins by mentality. The Brahmins by birth understand that caste is an accident of birth and nothing to be proud of or ashamed of. But Brahmins by mentality – who may not even be Brahmins by birth – are obsessed about their “status”. Any kind of status-consciousness because of caste is a trait of unworthy people. It is true that only the privileged castes can afford the luxury of rejecting their caste. A person who is not so fortunate to be born into one of the upper castes will not be allowed – by the caste-conscious classes – to reject or forget their caste.

  22. Does Arundhati believe that she is a Hindu (even if her mother is Christian and father a Bramho Samji)?
    Another person who made a claim like that is Rahul Gandhi, who claimed to be a devout Hindu belonging to Brahmin caste; and that too, a top class Brahmin (within the Brahmin class). Interestingly, he could have also claimed to be a Hindu Dalit or Hindu OBC but he did not!!

    May be Arundhati wanted to do a one up on Rahul- she is a Hindu but without a caste! She wanted to put herself on the top of topmost class!!

    The issue is very simple- you can be a Hindu from any caste but firmly believe and practice that you do not belong to any caste-so called higher or lower.

  23. Give up your surname. Replace it by a secular and casteless one. You officially become thus a truly castless person. Do this if you have guts to do so.

  24. Arunthathi Roy by birth is Christian, then why she claim herself as uppercaste ? Do Christians have caste system in it ? Then what ‘castlesness’ she is talking about ? Again why she use a Surname Roy wilhich is basically denotes a fuedal landlord. Do she take pride in know herself as a fuedal landlord ? It seems, hypocrisy is always a way of life for Arundhathi.

  25. Except for pointing out that Arundhati Roy’s preface to Ambedkar’s ANNIHILATION OF CASTE is composed of an unwarranted comparison between Gandhi and Ambedkar, this article contains no solid evidence to prove that she is – if one may judge from the video-clipping of the interview posted herewith – hiding her Brahmin identity or deriving secret privilege from claiming herself to be casteless.

    It should not be forgotten that hers is among the harshest voices in India that decries the caste junta that is ruling the nation today and for which she has been subjected to hardships by the powers that be. The assumption posed in this article that to claim oneself – especially by an upper-caste Hindu in India – to be casteless could only be hypocrisy just because such a person would otherwise be the beneficiary of privileges accorded to them by a caste-ridden society, needs rethinking, for it reeks of a counter-casteism which refuses to envision the possibility of a casteless India in the end. To say that an upper-caste Hindu cannot understand the social oppression suffered by members of the lower-castes just because they are born upper-caste, is a form of absolutism, although there are huge numbers of upper-caste hypocrite Hindus who declare fealty to the caste-oppressed in India. It is well to remember that the motive and driving force behind observation of caste hierarchy are rooted in the human propensity for enjoyment deriving from power exercised through domination of fellow humans and the exploitation of them such domination facilitates.

    To appreciate the other as a fellow being as deserving of respect and being entitled to equal rights, one must certainly be free from considerations of caste, in India. For this, first and foremost, one must be an atheist. Unless one declares one’s lack of faith, one cannot not only see reality from a secular point of view, but wont be able to refashion oneself and be prepared to encounter the resistance posed by one’s own social circle, perhaps even be ready to undergo ostracism and excommunication. All questions of caste in India are, in the end, bound up with faith.

    Therefore, so long as our priorities are taken up with questions of temples, mosques, churches and gurudwaras, our need to strengthen the secular base of the nation in order to address the drastic questions of eradication of poverty and corruption, and facilitation of health, modern education and administration of justice to all, will remain unheeded.

    Arundhati Roy has proved herself to be a well-wisher of the downtrodden, both of the casteless as well as the oppressed among the caste-ridden. Her writing and activism are in the service of this until now.

    • Appreciate your thoughts. Alas a casteless or classless society is utopian dream. Human society is always corrupt and venal. Some privileged at the top and middle will exploit the rest and try extreme means to keep this unjust society going. Caste system and privileges will remain in India for another 3000 years.

  26. Really surprised to see such an article in an English language publication. Print is certainly doing something right. Shekar and the rest of you at print, keep it up.

    I agree completely with the article. This occasion is rare. However, I have been agreeing with many articles on Print. Unlike, most other places where I mostly disagree about anything they write on caste, religion and class in India. Secularism in India etc.

    The author is right when she says, other than upper caste, no one in India can be casteless. Most of these caste movements have Upper caste folks at their help. This is exactly why nothing ever gets done to fix it. The issue is, should it be fixed at all? Will growing economy and moving out of poverty fix it eventually?

    The only point I disagree is the Brahmin’s not being at the center of this movement. That is a lie. Look at what happened during the Dravidian movement. Brahmin’s are the only caste whose caste is also identified with one of the varnas. This makes it easy to identify them and mark them as targets in any social movement. To say other wise is hypocrisy at its heights. Brahminism is a new word coined to represent caste system. The reason for coining the word is an anti-brahmin sentiment. To say other wise is a lie.

  27. The Varna was not strictly by vansha otherwise Sanatanis would not have a non brahim Valmiki Rishi composing the Ramayana. Vyasa the rishi of rishis was non brahmin. The shudras owned the land and in an agrarian economy were the wealthiest along with the weavers whose textiles were also exported.
    Whe.n the farmers were unduly taxed by Muslim rulers they were impoverished. The British destroyed the local textile industry and local Indian steel.
    Gurukuls were supported by the entire local societies and students were from all castes.
    Lord Macaulay banned Sanskrit and all Gurukuls. They employed the brahmins as teachers in their schools. Soon brahmins became the creamy layer of society.
    It’s the British evangelist who then brought a rift between the impoverished people and the brahmins.
    They brought the Aryan invasion theory and altered our history. Indians suffered from an identity crises till today.
    We should do away with the caste system and revive our Vedic culture. Our glorious past history should be restored based on facts, using modern methods.
    🇮🇳🙏

  28. Except for pointing out that Arundhati Roy’s preface to Ambedkar’s ANNIHILATION OF CASTE is composed of an unwarranted comparison between Gandhi and Ambedkar, this article contains no solid evidence to prove that she is – if one may judge from the video-clipping of the interview posted herewith – hiding her Brahmin identity or deriving secret privilege from claiming herself to be casteless.

    It should not be forgotten that hers is among the harshest voices in India that decries the caste junta that is ruling the nation today and for which she has been subjected to hardships by the powers that be. The assumption posed in this article that to claim oneself – especially by an upper-caste Hindu in India – to be casteless could only be hypocrisy just because such a person would otherwise be the beneficiary of privileges accorded to them by a caste-ridden society, needs rethinking, for it reeks of a counter-casteism which refuses to envision the possibility of a casteless India in the end. To say that an upper-caste Hindu cannot understand the social oppression suffered by members of the lower-castes just because they are born upper-caste, is a form of absolutism, although there are huge numbers of upper-caste hypocrite Hindus who declare fealty to the caste-oppressed in India. It is well to remember that the motive and driving force behind observation of caste hierarchy are rooted in the human propensity for enjoyment deriving from power exercised through domination of fellow humans and the exploitation of them such domination facilitates.

    To appreciate the other as a fellow being as deserving of respect and being entitled to equal rights, one must certainly be free from considerations of caste, in India. For this, first and foremost, one must be an atheist. Unless one declares one’s lack of faith, one cannot not only see reality from a secular point of view, but wont be able to refashion oneself and be prepared to encounter the resistance posed by one’s own social circle, perhaps even be ready to undergo ostracism and excommunication. All questions of caste in India are, in the end, bound up with faith.

    Therefore, so long as our priorities are taken up with questions of temples, mosques, churches and gurudwaras, our need to strengthen the secular base of the nation in order to address the drastic questions of eradication of poverty and corruption, and facilitation of health, modern education and administration of justice to all, will remain unheeded.

    Arundhati Roy has proved herself to be a well-wisher of the downtrodden, both of the casteless as well as the oppressed among the caste-ridden. Her writing and activism are in the service of this. Let us not discourage her with sensational irrationalities.

  29. Roy is not only an upper caste surname, in North Bengal a substantial section of the people who are scheduled castes have Roy as their surname.

  30. What sort of column is this ? Pure retrograde. Identity as Indian should matter and nothing else. Media, especially The Print and its lackeys which often blames the Modi government for everything is deliberately lighting the fire of caste, since it is bugging them that there are no caste and communal riots to report. Disgusting journalism.

    • This Lele, who’s a Kokanastha Brahmin, with 99.99 percent RSS support wants others to forget caste! Will he explain why each and every Sarsanghchalak from Dr Hegdewar has been a Brahmin? ( except Rajju bhaiya, ( Shri Rajendra Singh) who was Kshatriya).
      These Brah minies masquerade as Hindus which they were never intersted. They have only one ageda brahminical supremacy.

    • I feel there is nothing bad when a upper class person wants to claim that she is casteless I don’t think so that people like her by doing this by any means wants to deny the benefits that they might have received from there privileges and Infact that’s a major step towards a casteless society. And ultimately abolishing the institution of caste should be the major aim.

  31. not a big fan of hers , or anyone now a days , but if knowing who is brahmin is all about the surname then why bother asking the person , you already know who she is . The question would make sense if it was does she believed in caste or not that is the only area where one can apply agency to categorise one self as non brahmin. Also in recent years people have started not using caste surnames or common surnames to hide their caste or make it irrelevant temporarily , so just saying you need a better standard for evaluating who needs to get cancelled for being “casteist “

  32. Roy is a Christian name. Not Bangali ‘Roy’. What she said is true. Many Kerala Christians have ‘Hindu’ name and Christian surnames. Here ‘Roy’ is not caste surname. It is Christian name ‘Roy’. By the she is not Bengali. She is a Malayali Christian.

    • Here the question was based on her Bengali father and his origin. He married a Christian and himself converted is a different matter. One should not be using caste to their advantage, if indeed they proclaim themselves as indifferent to caste or religion. By the way, many Christians hide their name with with Hindu name. I wonder why they have to do that.

        • Really, !! then what happens to this assimilation once Converted Christians becomes the majority in a state like Northeast India, once Christians becomes the majority(Mizoram, Nagaland, Meghalaya), they started imposing rules and forced Non-Christians to follow their rules,Christians in North East India forcefully close all Businesses on Sundays and forced to attend church services, Hindus are not allowed to cremate their dead in some North-East states, Hindus are forced to get the body’s to Assam or Arunachal Pradesh to cremate as per Hindu customs, otherwise they will convert the dead body in to christinaty and bury them.

  33. The roots of caste system have gone deep in the Indian society. The present day Indian politics is nourishing it with advance manures and fertilisers. No one is talking of casteless society. Even the Left could trnform caste in to class rather they have acknowledged caste as the realy of the Indian society. One is born in to a particular caste withous his or her fault. But with his or her her experieces and education when he or she abhors castes he oe she is viewed with castangle as if he or she has no right to talk about it. Even Mahatma Gsndhi is viewed with this angle when he used the word Harijan for SC. Are we so comparmentalised thst we can not talk about others.

  34. If you filter sane comment then goodluck asking for support. Media is breaking their own knee by censoring intellectual comments while dumbest of the lots are published in full glory.

    I know useful idiots are very useful but on internet they don’t give you money. All useful idiots are still paying for cable and print but that space is already taken

  35. If her father is a Brahmin then she is Brahmin by birth. If her mother is Brahmin then 5th generation onwards would be Brahmins provided each generation marries a Brahmin girl continuously.

    The problem with Brahmins cult is that it is based on manipulation and stolen temples of Buddhists. Test of rejection of brahminism must be that they should accept that all temples older than 1000 years are actually Buddhists temples and the idols in it are actually Buddhists one.

    Here is an example that will shock everyone: check triupati temple idol. Compare it with Buddhist idol. It is stolen one. Clothes and jewels are used to mask this fact. Who makes a naked idol? If clothes are required then it is carved in stone. Most Hindu idols have clothes and jewels because the original idol is actually a Buddhist one.!

    Also address the fact that there is no archeological proof of devnagri script. Oldest Vedic scripture is hardly 500 years old.! Zero proof of any other thing. Even in ayodhaya (Buddhist name: Saket) all the archeological things are that of Buddhist temple only.

    Can any Brahmin accept this fact? Nah.! They know everything is fake but it gives them privilege so they continue to be hypocrite or doublethinker.

    • Based on your research ideology, can you please explain whether Khajuraho temple was a Buddhist temple or a Hindu temple? Have your ever seen Tirupati Balaji as an ordinary devotee standing in queue for hours to to have a glimpse of him for few seconds for you to notice how he looks like?

    • Tirupati idol is not naked dumb ass!! All the jewels you see fit to the ones carved on the stone!! You seem to be a Buddhist casteist!! Peroid!!

    • Dude have you ever seen the idol at Tirupati? The gold jewelry fit to the stone carved jewelry of the idol!! You want to paint the whole country with Buddhist brush??

    • What you have written is pure fiction you got from your own imagination. If you go to any reputed scholar and say that Hinduism is just 500 years old they will just laugh at you. I think it is the problem of the Indian education system that people like you believe pseudo history is real. Maybe I can recommend some historical books for you to read as whatsapp forwards are no source for factual information.

    • Buddhism came from Brahminism or Arya Dharma. Buddha called his teaching Arya Marga. Original Hinduism was called Arya Dharma. Buddhism is about spiritual upliftment. These so called Neo -Buddhists are for benefits only. They don’t follow higher teaching of Buddhism, like vegetarianism, non-violence, compassion. Genuine Buddhist are Chinese Buddhists, who were suppressed by Christian elite of Kuomintang and Communists during last 100 years.

      Bulk of Indian Buddhist are faux-Buddhists. In India everything is faux. e.g faux-secularist, faux historians, faux authors. You are simply a joke. You probably will even argue that Nalanda was not destroyed by Muslims. May be in your case ignorance is bliss, because then you can live with all your nonsenses.

    • Your knowledge is assumption based on biased influence from unverified source.
      “Oldest vedic script is 500 years old” that is very eye catching knowledge you have.

    • The earliest inscriptions in Tirupati temple are in 996 CE. There is no concrete evidence to conclude that Tirumala temple was originally a Buddhist shrine. While the caste system is evil and needs to be uprooted, how will your hatred of people help with it?

    • Wow! Even Smt Romilla Thapar, Shri Bipin Chandra, Shri DN Jha et all, were unable to give this spin to history. JNU would be too commonplace for you. Try Harvard. They just took in Smt Nidhi Razdan as an Assistant Professor, totally innocent of any peer reviewed published article or any substantial teaching experience, not to speak of a BA degree and a PG in journalism.

  36. This is all a bunch of bs. Just because lower class cannot escape their previous casts, upper class is forced to stick with theirs? I don’t give a f what caste Roy’s parents were. If she says she is not a brahmin, she is not.

      • Equating any Brahmin today with a criminal simply because of their caste shows very poor understanding of the issues involved.

        The problem today is not the so called ‘upper caste’ wanting to hold on to their so called privilege, but the people of the so called ‘lower caste’ wanting to stick on to their caste ‘identity’. A time has come for introspection as to why is the world so bothered whether Arundhati Roy is a Brahmin or not? If she doesn’t identify as a Brahmin then she is not one. Similarly, if a Dalit does not identify as a Dalit he or she is not one. Now who is willing to take the plunge and identify yourself as a human – Nothing more nothing less.

      • So you are comparing Brahmins with criminals?? Whoa, this is the rule of law that Leftists want not only in India, but in the West also

    • What a load of endless piece of shit this Leftist propaganda is across the world, gimmicks like “privilege” are always used by them to demoralise some people based on their race and caste.

    • The Varna was not strictly by vansha otherwise Sanatanis would not have a non brahim Valmiki Rishi composing the Ramayana. Vyasa the rishi of rishis was non brahmin. The shudras owned the land and in an agrarian economy were the wealthiest along with the weavers whose textiles were also exported.
      Whe.n the farmers were unduly taxed by Muslim rulers they were impoverished. The British destroyed the local textile industry and local Indian steel.
      Gurukuls were supported by the entire local societies and students were from all castes.
      Lord Macaulay banned Sanskrit and all Gurukuls. They employed the brahmins as teachers in their schools. Soon brahmins became the creamy layer of society.
      It’s the British evangelist who then brought a rift between the impoverished people and the brahmins.
      They brought the Aryan invasion theory and altered our history. Indians suffered from an identity crises till today.
      We should do away with the caste system and revive our Vedic culture. Our glorious past history should be restored based on facts, using modern methods.

  37. She isn’t a Brahmin. She can be some other upper caste, both not a Brahmin. Is she supposed to say she is even when she’s not? Please try n understand that progressiveness doesn’t means sticking to rigid words, a rigid way of thinking. If you want to defeat the caste system, you have to defeat the entire hierarchy. Just calling it “Brahminism” may help you to feel like an intellectual, may give you satisfaction, but doesn’t help the lakhs of SC SC people who are still reeling under the caste system. You forget the role that Kshatriyas played or play in enforcing the system. You forget the role that Vaishyas play in strictly following the system. In UP the caste fight mostly is between Yadavs and Mauryas. Which of them are Brahmins? You forget that many OBCs are strictly anti Dalits. Also, what is most needed right now is that SC ST people who are grassroots, who do not necessarily speak in eloquent English, lead the fight against the caste system. Their views and their ground realities, their needs should be heard. Right now this fight is being led by English speaking SC ST people who mostly talk about reservation and forget about their poorer Brethren. I know you will think whatever I said as drivel, but the nature of the fight against caste system will change because India is changing. You will need to brace yourself for that and learn to understand new nuances of speaking.

    • I agree with you. You can add Maharashtra too – here Marathas largest cast still follow untouchability even if no Brahmins live in the village. As you pointed out I have seen OBC people demonising SC people. It is very prevalent and practiced by many if not all.

    • Well said. The allegation raised in this article that Arundhati Roy is being hypocritical by claiming herself to be casteless and denying herself being a Brahmin, smacks of sensationalism. However, the question as to who should lead the anti-caste movement needs rethinking from all concerned sections: “the English speaking SC ST people” may not be excluded from such deliberations under the assumption that they no longer share the lot of their poorer brethren.

  38. Roy is not a caste surname. It is used by all castes in India. It is also prevalent among Scots(Rob Roy, Nicholas Ray etc). Arundhati’s parents were Christians. It is ridiculous to ask whether she’s a Brahmin. But anything is okay to beat her with.

  39. A ROY is WORKING FOR Christian church FOR proselytizing HINDUS.

    KEEPING HINDU NAME AND BAD MOUTHING HINDUS under congrass to bring ROME RAJYA IS HER MISSION.

    FACTS MATTER.

    • The Varna was not strictly by vansha otherwise Sanatanis would not have a non brahim Valmiki Rishi composing the Ramayana. Vyasa the rishi of rishis was non brahmin. The shudras owned the land and in an agrarian economy were the wealthiest along with the weavers whose textiles were also exported.
      Whe.n the farmers were unduly taxed by Muslim rulers they were impoverished. The British destroyed the local textile industry and local Indian steel.
      Gurukuls were supported by the entire local societies and students were from all castes.
      Lord Macaulay banned Sanskrit and all Gurukuls. They employed the brahmins as teachers in their schools. Soon brahmins became the creamy layer of society.
      It’s the British evangelist who then brought a rift between the impoverished people and the brahmins.
      They brought the Aryan invasion theory and altered our history. Indians suffered from an identity crises till today.
      We should do away with the caste system and revive our Vedic culture. Our glorious past history should be restored based on facts, using modern methods.

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